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1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners: The tactics workbook that explains the basic concepts, too (Anglais) Broché – 16 juin 2012


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10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent Workbook for Advanced Beginners Through Intermediate Club Players 23 juillet 2012
Par Christopher J. Falter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Having coached scholastic players for a few years, I am always interested in finding good resources for chess neophytes. This well-translated edition of a popular Italian workbook offers a lot of value for the right audience:

* The explanations of the various tactics (pin, skewer, deflection, etc.) demonstrate not only how they can succeed, but also how a clever defense can thwart them or even turn the tables. Right away the reader is learning not to play "hope chess" (to adopt Dan Heisman's terminology). Hope chess is when you play what looks like a good move and simply hope that your opponent does not have a good response--rather than checking to see that your opponent cannot reply with a strong threat, capture, or check. Learning to look out for your opponent's responses, rather than just moving and hoping, is a key part of advancing in chess, so the authors' approach is very useful.

* The chapter on "the missing piece" invites the reader to add a particular piece anywhere on the board, in order to achieve a particular goal like checkmate or trapping the opponent's queen. This exercise helps the reader learn to envision a winning position, which is an important part of finding good moves. Obviously you won't be able to just drop a piece on the ideal square in a real game...but if you can learn to say, for example, "if I could just get a rook to h8 it would create checkmate," you just might find a winning rook maneuver. This exercise is quite novel in chess books, but again very useful.

* 1001 diagrams provides a lot of practice for the money. Other chess tactics books often offer only 300-500 diagrams. Moreover, the positions were mostly new to me--unlike some tactics books which rely heavily on the "classics."

* Unlike Reinfeld's "1001" books, this one is a model of accuracy. I did spot a couple of solutions which do not discuss the opponent's strongest reply, but even in those cases there is a winning continuation for the player to move.

The chapters cover the following themes:

Checkmate in 1 move (obviously very easy positions to solve)
Checkmate in 2 moves
The missing piece (discussed above)
Double attack
Discovered attack
Discovered check
Double check
Pin
Skewer
Deflection
Decoy sacrifice
Pawn promotion
Drawing tactics
Mixed motifs: white
Mixed motifs: black
Mate in 3
Mate in 4 (mostly pretty difficult)
Curiosities (unusual moves)

The book closes with solutions in figurine algebraic notation and a glossary of chess terms.

I do think the title is a bit misleading, as most of the positions after the mate in one chapter would be hard for a true beginner to solve. A better first book for the newbie is A World Champion's Guide to Chess: Step-by-step instructions for winning chess the Polgar way. This book, on the other hand, would be an excellent second book on chess tactics for anyone. And if you too often say something like, "I was winning, but I just missed that stupid knight fork," this book can help you strengthen basic tactics pattern recognition. Heisman frequently recommends this kind of remedial tactics practice for club players, and I agree wholeheartedly with him. Used in this fashion, the book can be helpful for players up to about 1600 ELO.

The small size of the diagrams might be a problem for some readers, as well. In fact, I have never seen another chess book with such small diagrams. They are not so small as to be unusable, but I would have preferred more and/or larger pages so that the diagrams could be 15% larger. Otherwise, though, the quality of the printing is impeccable.

Do not let these are minor flaws discourage you, though, from obtaining this good, useful, and in some ways novel chess tactics book. Work diligently through this book a couple of times and you are bound to become a stronger player.

Note: The publisher provided a review copy of this book to me in exchange for my honest review. My ratings of the publisher's books have ranged from 3 stars to 5 stars.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
It fails to address the needs of its intended audience. 16 décembre 2013
Par NeverEnoughBooks - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is one of those tactics books that simply fails to deliver. Although it was ostensibly written for beginners, only the first three chapters (Mate in One, Mate in Two, and The Missing Piece) are suitable for that audience. The remainder of the book is too advanced for the true beginner. It is a short book (144 pages) with relatively small diagrams. The explanations at the beginning of the chapters are short and rather superficial. They are okay, but not praiseworthy.

There are better books for the beginner. For the true beginner, I would suggest John Bain's Chess Tactics for Students, Jeff Coakley's Winning Chess Exercises for Kids, or even Al Woolum's The Chess Tactics Workbook. Only after the student consistently, at a glance, recognizes the tactical motifs in these books should they move on to more advanced problem sets. Beyond workbooks, there are several good choices: Yasser Seirawan's Winning Chess Tactics is good -- Susan Polgar's Chess Tactics for Champions may be even better. Although it deals almost exclusively with mate in one and mate in two problems, Laszlo Polgar's Chess 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games can be entertaining for this group as well.

As the student progresses to become an intermediate player, there are many good books. Notable exercise sets would include Richard Palliser's The Complete Chess Workout and Ray Cheng's Practical Chess Exercises. At this point, Charles Hertan's Forcing Chess Moves and Victor Henkin's 1000 Checkmate Combinations should be read. These will provide the basis for pattern recognition, calculation skills, and visualization required to get stronger for the USCF class D, C, and B player.

In short, there are many excellent tactical books available for the beginner and the intermediate chess player. Choose books that are appropriate for your level of expertise. Don't choose 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners -- if you are a beginner, it will frustrate you. If you are an intermediate player, there are better books for you.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent puzzles. 1 juin 2013
Par ALICE HOLT - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Good book for chess students. It helps a student begin to recognize basic patterns. This book is worth reviewing regularly.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent Tactics workbook for Beginning to Low-Intermediate Players 23 février 2013
Par Silver Moose - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I am a class B player who used this book to broaden my knowledge of short, simple tactical motifs, and to improve my ability to quickly recognize these simple motifs through repetition in practice. Most of the exercises in the first half of the book were much too simple for a class B player, but the exercises in the latter half of the book required a little thought, on the order of 5 to 15 seconds to solve. None of the exercises in this book were overly challenging to me, but I saw some new (to me) and somewhat tricky tactical patterns. One thing I particularly liked about the book was the wide variety of tactical motifs presented and the amount of repetition of these motifs (enough repetition to make the concept stick, but not too much so as to bore the reader). This book is probably too basic for a class B player, but I did get the practice I wanted and it took very little time to complete the book.

I generally agree with the points made by Mr. Falter, who does a good job of accurately describing the contents of the book and its virtues. I give this book 5 stars because (1) it contains 1001 accurate tactical exercises, appropriately arranged by category and order of difficulty; and (2) a wide range of tactical motifs are presented with an appropriate amount of repetition. This book would be very useful tactics practice for beginning to low-intermediate chessplayers.
Diagrams too small 14 octobre 2014
Par One Among Many - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Three stars might be too generous, but the content is very good. What took away two stars and almost a third is the size of the diagrams. They are FAR too small (not at all comparable to the size of diagrams in other tactics book), which really reduces the effectiveness this could have had for training. It's one mistake, but it's huge.
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